Banghar Mohalla is a slum area located in Tughlakabad near Alaknanda, New Delhi. Around 150 families reside in this area in temporary houses that have brick walls, but no permanent roofs. They also do not have access to proper sanitation, or running water. The families wait for the Government water tanks to fill their water cans. The electricity connections are illegal so supply is completely unpredictable. The drainage system is almost non-existent.
Most of the people hail from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, mostly daily wage earners whose total average monthly family income is Rs. 5000. This amounts to just Rs. 33/person/day, less than half of the World Bank poverty line of $1.25/person/day. One of the most immediate impacts of such debilitating poverty in this community is the poor level of health and hygiene.
"The major concern in this area is ignorance about health and hygiene issues among the residents”, says Yashpal, the Magic Bus team member. "The area is extremely dirty and has overflowing open sewers. No effort is made to clean them. People throw away their trash right in front of their homes. They have no idea about a proper disposal system and are not aware of the repercussions that living in such an environment has."
12 year old Salim was a young boy who had no idea about proper hygiene. He would never take a bath on his own or wash himself up and did not wear shoes or clean clothes. His surroundings were such that he was not getting inputs on basic hygiene from others.
The Magic Bus staff counselled the child and taught him all about basic cleanliness and the importance of it. They also talked to his family about it. Now Salim always keeps himself neat and tidy and has improved his hygiene levels drastically.
Magic Bus sessions here are divided into three parts:
• Warm up: The development goal is introduced using interactive activities
• Main activity: The development goal is reinforced using sports and activities
• Review: A discussion is facilitated to draw parallels to real-life situations and sum up the learning objectives
A range of additional activities help advocate about the need to get children enrolled in school, ensure girls and boys are treated equally, practice healthy habits in children and orient youth towards employability. In Banghar Mohalla, a drawing competition, a handball tournament and a football match help in creating a child-friendly atmosphere in which the parents and caregivers can take ownership ver the process of child development.